Cheltenham Town Ladies midfielder Charlotte Criddle admits, it has been difficult balancing teaching and playing football while dealing with effects of a global pandemic.
They return against Portsmouth Women on April 4 in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup second round.
It’s been three months since the Robinesses last played. Criddle has been struggling with all the extra free-time since their last game and is excited at the prospect of returning to action.
“What is life without fun, friends and family. I won’t be alone in saying, that I’ve really missed it. That competitive side to it, but also just being around each other.”
“They’re a really good group of girls so the social aspect of it is really important for quite a lot of people.”
The attacking midfielder and the rest of her team have been making efforts to keep in contact with one another over social media.
“We’ve been frequently going on Zoom as a team and doing lots of different activities. That’s been a good laugh and has been really good.
“We did some quizzes, we’ve had team meetings where we’ve done lots of different activities.”
“The balance has been really good, although we have been away, we’ve got to know each other a lot more.”
“When you’re at football sometimes it’s very game focused and now we’ve got to see each other in a different light where there haven’t been any footballs around.”
“That’s been really positive actually, another positive thing to come out of a negative situation.”
Criddle has also been balancing her Cheltenham Town duties with her work as a PE teacher and has struggled to find the time to train, teach and sleep.
“I’m lucky because I’m a PE teacher which is very different to Maths or English, the only difficulty I found was being tired. Sometimes a bit leggy because you’ve been on your feet all day.
“I know there’s a lot of other girls who work evenings, it’s a lot harder for them whereas I get evenings and weekends off. “
“I’ve found it okay but I can’t wait to get back! Every time I feel tired, I’m going to have a word with myself and be grateful that we are training!”
The midfielder is keen to return to football and has her eyes firmly set on next season.
“We have to see what the summer brings, see what shape we are in come pre-season and then we will decide them together.”